'Affordable luxury' comes with its in-built share of irony- however, things on the smart mobility front might be moving towards a change with the joint announcement by RTA Dubai and Uber  to launch the trial of the uberX service that aims to provide passengers in Dubai with access to affordable travel. This comes following a partnership agreement between Uber and the RTA in January to study new mobility options to support Dubai Plan 2021. uberX has been successfully rolled out in cities across the Middle East, including Riyadh, Cairo, and Beirut.

The pilot uberX in the UAE will be rolled out gradually over a trial period of 3 months starting Monday. It starts with a limited number of vehicles, and expanding to a wider pool of riders and driver-partners.  Abdulla Yousef Al Ali, CEO of RTA’s Public Transport Agency said: “The announcement of this pilot service is a very encouraging news for Dubai. Smart mobility is a key pillar of every smart city and the provision of economy solutions is an integral element of the smart mobility.

“Through this initiative, we aim to expand and enhance the integration with public transport modes including metro, tram, public buses and marine transport means in Dubai based on the First and Last miles,” said Al Ali.

Chris Free, general manager, Uber UAE added: “We are very excited about this partnership with the RTA and to bring uberX to Dubai, a city leading the way in smart technologies. This launch promotes our belief that increased access to economic and reliable modes of transport will provide a viable alternative to individual car ownership.”